Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

Disability Denied in California




 
I've been around social security disability and SSI disability claimants in several capacities over a number of years (caseworker, disability examiner, advocacy) and the conclusion I've reached is that the majority of disability applicants do not want to file for disability benefits. They file for disability benefits because they have to. In other words, because their medical or mental condition has made it impossible for them to work and earn enough money to support themselves.

Resources:

1. Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
2. What if you get denied for disability three times?
3. What if my Disability Application is denied?
4. How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved?


Individuals who file for SSD and SSI benefits in California and enter the disability evaluation process do so with a fair amount of despondency and anxiety. And, unfortunately, most have their disability denied, and their trepidation validated. Depending on the state in which you live, the rates of denial at the initial claim level can be as high as seventy percent or more.

Why does this happen? Why do so many individuals with valid claims have their disability denied, particularly when so many of them stand a greater chance of being approved for benefits at a later point in the process (that is, if they follow the appeal process -- for more information, visit this page: Social Security Disability Appeals)?

The answer is multifaceted, without a doubt; however, part of the reason for such large denial rates has to do with the "culture of denial" that exists at the various state agencies that process social security disability and SSI disability claims for the social security administration. These are the agencies (normally referred to as disability determination services or the bureau of disability determination) in which disability examiners gather the medical records of applicants and render decisions on their claims. These are also the agencies in which disability examiners work under a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) pressure to deny more disability claims than they approve.

In these agencies, the quality-control focus on continually analyzing whether a disability determination should have been a denial versus an approval has led to certain patterns of behavior that have long since become SOP, and virtually etched in granite.

Put another way, the ranks of unit supervisors at the various disability determination services (each state has at least one DDS, some states have several) have been inclined, and motivated, for many years to deny many good claims for disability benefits. And this inclination is so pervasive (and, let's be honest, twisted) that it is not unheard of for DDS unit supervisors (who, incidentally, have no medical training whatsoever) to challenge the very physicians who are assigned to their units as medical consultants.

Some would categorize this as outrageous chutzpah, that a DDS unit supervisor (i.e. a state employees with zero medical expertise) would challenge and override a physician whose job is to assist and validate the decisions of disability examiners. But it happens all the time (not by actual order, but definitely via pressure and coercion, i.e. strongarming).

And it is clear evidence as to why "social security disability reform" may not be nearly so effective as its architects project and anticipate. Because as long as the culture of denial remains rooted at disability determination services, no shell games (substituting federal review for DDS reconsiderations) or wishful-thinking-alterations to the system (quick disability decision units, which, under current supervisors, are not likely to move disability cases any faster than they currently move) will have any substantial impact.

Unfortunately, this is where SSA's top level management falls shortest, simply because for all they do know, at a very basic level (the level at which initial disability claims are received and processed), you have to wonder if they really know much about how the disability system actually works.








  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved







  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center



    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children




    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney




    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security




    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits




    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI



    The SSDRC Disability Blog




    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina








    Filing for disability in California

    How do I Apply for Disability Benefits in California

    How long should you wait before you apply for disability?

    SSD and SSI applications in California

    What do you do if your California disability claim is denied?

    Do you file for your children when you apply for disability in California?

    Should you apply for disability in California after a denial?

    How long does a disability case take in California

    After you file for disability in California

    Filing for disability in California and your condition

    Filing a disability claim in California, long filing process




    The California disability process

    Do I need to be disabled a year in California to get disability?

    The Social Security Disability process in California

    California Disability determination process

    Disability approval criteria in California

    California Social Security Disability decisions

    Steps to Win Social Security Disability benefits in California




    Questions about disability in California

    How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?

    California Social Security Back Pay

    Can Disability benefits be garnished in California?

    Disability two year medicare waiting period in California

    California review of Social Security Disability claim

    California Social Security Disability status

    VA disability and California Social Security Disability

    Can a Congressman in California help on a disability case

    How do examiners make disability decisions in California?

    Applying for disability benefits in California




    How long does disability take in California?

    How long does it take to get a decision on a disability case in California?

    Why do disability claims take so long in California?

    How Long Will It Take To Get My Disability Decision If I Appeal in California?




    Disability claims in California with certain conditions

    Applying For Disability On the Basis of Back Pain in California

    Filing for Disability with Fibromyalgia in California

    Social Security Disability For Mental Illness in California




    Winning California disability

    Will a lawyer improve the chance to win disability in California?

    Getting approved for disability in California

    Winning disability in California




    California Disability Lawyers and Representation

    Getting a disability attorney in California

    Finding a new disability attorney in California




    Applying for SSI in California

    Filing for SSI disability in California

    SSI disability denied in California

    Are SSI claims in California denied more than SSDI claims?

    How to apply for SSI Disability in California




    Doctors, medical records, and medical exams

    Doctors and applying for disability in California

    Can you be turned down for disability in California if your doctor says you are disabled?




    Disability hearings in California

    Disability Hearings in California

    California quick disability hearing

    How do I win my Social Security Disability Hearing in California?

    How long does it take to get a disability hearing in California?




    Disability denials in California

    Disability Denied in California

    If a disability claim is denied in California

    Appealing a Social Security Disability denial in California

    If you get denied Social Security Disability in California

    Why are Most Disability Cases Denied in California?

    Getting approved or denied for disability in California




    Disability appeals in California

    How do you file a disability appeal in California?

    How many disability appeals do you get in California?

    If your California disability appeal is denied, can you get another appeal?

    If your disability reconsideration is denied in California

    Filing a reconsideration appeal in California

    Why was I denied disability in California?




    Qualifying for disability in California

    Qualifying for disability in California

    Qualify for SSD in California

    Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in California?




    Disability lawyers in California

    Using a Social Security Disability Attorney in California

    Cost of a California disability attorney

    Why do disability lawyers in California sometimes not take cases?

    Hiring a Disability Lawyer in California

    Social Security Disability Attorney Fees In California

    How do Disability Lawyers in California get paid their fees?

    Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied in California?

    Lawyer for a disability hearing in California

    Why was I denied disability in California?